Somalia: Somali PM Mohamed Roble Accepts New Role in Elections

(file photo).

Somalia Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has accepted the new role assigned by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and endorsed by the Lower House of the Parliament on Saturday.

In a brief statement via the state-run media, Mr Roble thanked the president for delegating the authority to lead the vital election process and the security arrangements.

"I thank the president for his broad consensus, respect for the people and national feelings, and readiness to transfer the electoral leadership to us (the executive branch of the state) plus the security management," said Roble.

Indirect polls

President Farmaajo, who addressed the House on Saturday, offered to surrender duties of election preparation and its security to his PM as pressure mounted on him to terminate his two-year term extension and revert to talks for indirect polls.

The legislators endorsed Mr Roble's new role to lead the electoral process in Somalia and the elections' security. It means he is fully mandated to lead the nation to election by means of the indirect election agreed by the National Consultative Forum on 17 September 2020 and the 16 February Baidoa Framework.

Mr Roble had been among sober heads in Farmaajo's government to call for dialogue as rivals went for the President's head.

The PM on Saturday thanked the MPs' endorsement of the president's request, promising to address the election issues as soon as possible.

"The government is going to prepare the plan to conduct the electoral process, the elections' security and the national security framework," stated Roble, adding that his government is determined to arrange a free and fair election where the rights of everybody is assured.

Regarding the tension that emerged from the term extension approved on 12 April by the Lower House of the parliament, especially in capital Mogadishu, the prime minister labelled it 'unfortunate.'

Create tension

"I will nominate a committee to probe what happened," the PM said, in reference to units of the security forces that rallied in Mogadishu in support of the opponents of President Farmaajo including the Coalition of the (opposition) Presidential Candidates (CPC).

"I urge all the armed personnel in the capital to go back to their camps and barracks now that the issue of term extension has been resolved."

"Our armed forces are courageous defenders of our nation with no affiliation with politics, supporters or opponents, and as such I want them to stay away from politics," said Mr Roble. He urged politicians to refrain from statements that may create tension in the country.

He stated that his priorities will include inviting the leaders of the Federal Member States to attend a meeting to discuss the electoral process.

Security

Meanwhile, Jubbaland State of Somalia, an authority in the most southern regions of Somalia, questioned the clarity of the speech of President Farmaajo to the Parliament on Saturday.

Talking to the media on Saturday, Jubbaland Information Minister Abdi Hussein said that the president is yet to fully delegate the security of the state to the prime minister, saying that opposing army units are facing each other in many parts of the country. He mentioned Gedo region, Mogadishu City, Jowhar and Beledweyne towns.

"Jubbaland will not attend a meeting in the capital until President Farmaajo hands over the security responsibility to the prime minister fully and the army units facing each other in Mogadishu are separated," said Jubbaland's Hussein.

The UK and US embassies in Mogadishu quickly welcomed the move by President Farmaajo and endorsement by the Lower House of the Parliament. In a Tweeter message on Saturday, the American embassy stated that it welcomes the new development.

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